Monday, December 6, 2010

Work Crisis:Installment Three or So

It's been a long and hectic week for me. I thought that my part in diffusing the crisis at work was over on Saturday. I had put in something like forty hours doing tasks that are not usually in any way a part of my job description. All was well, I didn't mind. I was getting paid by the hour, so having a large amount of time-consuming work was not in any way a terribly big deal.

On Saturday evening, I received an e-mail from my boss, asking me if I could do one more project. At the time, the deadline for those particular projects was Sunday night. I had plans for Sunday, so I told her that I couldn't do it if they wanted it on time, and if there was anyone else who could or wanted to do it, then she should probably ask them.

She said she'd ask around, but asked me to check on the project if I had any spare time. I didn't, but on Sunday night, she sent me another e-mail asking me to continue the project on Monday and Tuesday. Because I'd be spending Monday and Tuesday doing work regardless, I didn't see a problem with that.

Here's where the problem comes in. My boss went out of town this morning. Apparently, there was another project, in addition to the previously mentioned one, that she either told people I'd be taking care of, or she told them I'd be taking care of one of them and they assumed that I would be doing the other one as well. The thing is, though, no one actually told me that the second project was my responsibility. Furthermore, my boss told me that I would have today and Tuesday to do the first project.

But then, I got an e-mail this afternoon asking me if BOTH the projects were done. I wrote back, saying I was done with project number one, but I hadn't started project number two, and that I could probably have it done by tonight or tomorrow. Apparently, that's not acceptable. Given my involvement thus far, there would be no reason to assume that both of them would be done. I told my boss I couldn't work Sunday. My boss told me that I would have Monday and Tuesday to work. I told all this to the guy standing in for my boss, and he didn't sound impressed.

These projects have been taking, on average, about six hours to do. If they wanted it done before tomorrow, they should have given me a titch more notice. Also, they should have told me that they wanted me to do the second project BEFORE asking me if I had finished it. I mean, had they asked, and I really did have until tomorrow to do it, then it would be fine. But it sounds like they were expecting me to work Sunday, even though I told them that I couldn't.

Also, I'm a freelancer. I'm an independent contractor. Per my contract with this company, I'm supposed to be a writer. That's it. That is as far as my responsibilities extend. When this work crisis came up, they asked me if I could help. I said I would be happy to help, but I thought it was clear that I would only help insofar as my schedule would allow. I mean, I'm doing them a favor, rather than fulfilling a responsibility. Some additional projects became my responsibility when I agreed to do them, but only the ones explicitly discussed and agreed to. Not the extra ones they assumed I was going to do.

I imagine that there was probably just a miscommunication or two somewhere along the line. Maybe my boss forgot to ask me to take on the second project. Maybe the guy who's standing in for my boss just assumed that I took on the second one when I took on the first one, and that I had been working Sunday to get them done. Maybe the two of them weren't clear with each other about what the deadlines are/were/should be. I really don't know.

I'm not angry or anything, but I am a little bit frustrated. I've spent the past week (minus Sunday) working my butt off for these people, taking on all kinds of extra responsibilities and spending all kinds of time that would normally be allocated to other things, like eating and sleeping and occasionally being in the same room with my husband. I feel a tad taken for granted, and I don't feel like that's fair.

On the plus side, my paycheck is going to be HUGE.

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